Susan Heard recalls attending a performance of Hansel and Gretel with family friends when she was a child, but it was meeting Bruce Heard in 1979 that ignited her ongoing love of classical music and opera. “That changed my life,” she recalls. Bruce’s parents felt strongly that their son should have access to performances of classics like The Nutcracker and Peter and the Wolf, a passion he was eager to share with his wife.
After attending a concert on the Colburn School campus by an outside organization, Susan remembered a colleague of hers mentioning she was taking piano lessons with Ory Shihor at the school. “It clued us in to the fact that a lot of great things were happening here,” she says. When the couple’s friend Alice Coulombe asked them to get more involved with the school as volunteers, Susan and Bruce happily agreed. “The more involved I got, of course the more I loved it,” Susan says.
Susan and Bruce are enthusiastic supporters of the Community School of Performing Arts, the Conservatory of Music, and the Music Academy’s events, and they also enjoy attending chamber music and orchestra concerts. “I’m very impressed with the dedication Colburn School parents show to their children, allotting so much of their time bringing them to the school and supporting their education,” Bruce says. “It’s particularly gratifying to see what’s happening here.”
Susan and Bruce currently contribute to a Community School scholarship fund, and appreciate the opportunity to engage with the student who receives their support, celebrating and encouraging her development. They became members of the Encore Society because they both agreed the Colburn School was the place they wanted to invest a significant gift.
They see a bright future for the Colburn School, one where the school plays a larger role in the lives of more students through planned gifts like theirs. “The school will be able to serve more people who would not be able to study here otherwise,” Bruce says.
“All of the faculty donate so much of their own personal energy and time to their students so they can be the best they can be,” Susan says. “Many parents travel a great distance to bring their children here, and it’s such a testament to the value of this school and the importance of the education it provides.”